Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Sarah Ruhl's Passion Play

It is the rare play that dares to span over 400 years, but Sarah Ruhl's Passion Play is nothing if not ambitious. Ruhl's three-and-a-half-hour epic ponders love, betrayal, belief, and hatred and numbers among its characters Queen Elizabeth, Hitler, and Ronald Reagan (all acidly depicted by the wry T. Ryder Smith). Many cast members play similar characters in the three time periods, and their changing allegiances reflect each time and place as well as the effects of playing such sacred characters as Jesus and Mary. The show is funny, moving, and often beautiful. I wish I could see it again; its myriad relationships, ideas, and images were too much to take in on one viewing.

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